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I'm new to astronomy, I got my first telescope in November (StarMax 90mm f/13), I was really happy with the view of the moon and double stars, but disappointed I could see but barely make out nebula (initially the ring nebula). I also tried to take a photo of the moon with my phone but trying to get a stable shot was too difficult, even with a basic smartphone adapter. I did a bit of research, found about about Video Astronomy/Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) and decided I needed a better mount and took the opportunity to get a faster telescope (StarTravel 102 f5/). I really like the Sky-Watcher -102 AZ GTe with the ZWO ASI 224MC. I've only used it for 4 nights as there is so much cloud about but it's allowed me to take images of things my eyeball wouldn't see. Although my setup is below the minimum specification most would consider for imaging and entry level for visual observations I think I've found a setup that seems to work for me. I like that with SharpCap I can get instant results and the day after when it's back to cloudy I can get a bit more out of the images with Deep Sky Stacker and Gimp. I have tried looking through the eyepiece at the Pleiades, that was a pleasure as well. I can see how observing with a big Dobsonian and amazing eyepieces would be great, but many objects seem better with a camera than eyeballs. The Horsehead nebula wasn't found until astrophotography came into being. The photo above was taken on my first night with the setup. The January 2019 issue of Sky at Night Magazine has a review of the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe and they give it 4.5 / 5. Combining it with an Explore Scientific UHC filter seems to reduce most of the chromatic aberration and increases contrast relative to the stars, and light pollution. Video Astronomy/EAA seems to offer a great window into both the visual and imaging worlds of astronomy. As First Light Optics say "Your first telescope is arguably the most important because if the views do not amaze and delight, your interest in astronomy will crash and burn on the runway!" I understand cost could be an issue, but if the beginner had a suitable camera Video Astronomy could be as accessible as a Go-To visual setup, and seems more likely to amaze (especially in the skies of a typical house). My question is why is video astronomy not the first suggestion for beginners interested in both visual and imaging?
I'm new to the forum and astronomy in general. I have just bought a Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe. After some help from FLO I'm all set up and ready for the rain/clouds to pass. I also have an Orion StarMax 90 on a table-top/tripod mount and have done some observing with that. I really like observing the moon with my little Mak, but thought adding tracking would help a lot as trying to keep Mars in view was tricky. I bought the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe as it seems to cost not much more than the Sky-Watcher AZ GTe mount. The telescope seems to complement my little Mak and they're both fairly cheap as starter scopes. I'm sorry if the introduction was a bit long but I thought it may be useful to introduce myself. The reason for this post is to ask if anyone has managed to get the EQ firmware to work on the AZ GTe. I know it's unsupported and just a bonus. I managed to get the AZ GTi EQ firmware loaded on the AZ GTe, but it kept pointing to the ground instead of the sky for all objects. It did this in AZ and EQ mode in the Windows version of SynScan Pro. I saw a forum post from January about the AZ GTi pointing downwards but there was no solution. Does anyone know if the EQ firmware works on the AZ GTe, or if pointing downwards has been a problem with the AZ GTi as well? I was running the 5 November 2018 Right Arm Dual AZ/EQ firmware version 3.16. I reverted back to the AZ GTi stock AZ only firmware and it works fine and points at object in the sky as expected. John